Beyoncé’s visual albums have proven that, in addition to her many other talents, she’s an extraordinary curator. The list of directors credited on her new movie Black Is King, which arrives on Disney Plus on Friday, represents a dazzling roster of visual artists and filmmakers, Guggenheim fellows and veteran documentarians.
In traditional Beyoncé fashion, there’s no information available in advance about which parts of Black Is King have been directed by whom, besides the fact that Knowles-Carter herself is credited as the film’s overarching director, writer, and executive producer, and if Black Is King is anything like Lemonade, we may never really know. As Indiewire critic David Ehrlich wrote when defending Beyoncé’s choice not to include detailed, song-by-song director credits for Lemonade, “As helpful as that might have been, Lemonade isn’t an anthology, it’s a chorus meant to harmonize with a single voice.” Here, for Black Is King, is a close-up on each of the voices in Beyoncé’s chorus.
Adjei is a Ghanian-Dutch filmmaker, schooled in Utrecht, the Netherlands and Ghent, Belgium, whose past credits include videos for Madonna’s “Dark Ballet” and “Batuka,” both taken from her 2019 album Madame X. The latter, which takes its title and musical cues from the Cape Verdean genre batuque, was shot on the coast of Portugal and references the country’s role in the slave trade. Adjei also directed a video for the Iranian-Dutch singer Sevdaliza’s “Shahmaran,” an Afrofuturist parable which begins with Black men lugging what looks like a space-age cruise ship through the desert, and culminates when one of them breaks free, makes his way into an underground room, and finds himself tempted by images of success: a sports car, a gun, a voluptuous woman, an LP. As he explained, “It’s the story of the black man, who continues life in a cycle of oppression. The modern chains on black men today are the aspirations of decadence, power and success that create a false sense of autonomy and freedom. This leaves them victim of addictions to power and materialism, unable to venture outside what is ‘expected’ of their behavior.”
On Instagram, Adjei said that he was “overwhelmed and honored” to have the image of a body floating in space above the earth chosen for Black Is King’s official poster, a good indication he’s responsible that portion of the visual album.
Ghanaian filmmaker Samuel Bazawule began his career as hip-hop artist Blitz the Ambassador, releasing three albums before turning to filmmaking with The Burial of Kojo, which was included in the 2019 Whitney Biennial and, after being distributed by Ava DuVernay’s company Array, became the first movie from Ghana to be added to Netflix, where it’s still available to stream. Although it’s explicitly inspired by traditional African storytelling—Bazawule said it was the kind of movie he could imagine his grandmother making if she’d had access to a camera—there’s also a dose of the remix aesthetic and Afro-surrealism of his sometime collaborator Terence Nance, the man behind HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness.
A Nigerian-British filmmaker with an MFA from Howard, Nkiru most recently directed the commercial for the New York Times’ 1619 Project featuring Janelle Monáe that aired during the Academy Awards. Her 2019 short “Black to Techno,” about the birth of Detroit techno, was featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, and her 2014 short “En Vogue,” a tribute to New York City’s’s ballroom scene, was shot by fellow Howard alums Bradford Young (Selma, Arrival) and Arthur Jafa (Daughters of the Dust, Crooklyn, “Cranes in the Sky”). Her dual-screen installation “Rebirth Is Necessary” features archival footage of Sun Ra and the Black Panther Party and a soundtrack featuring Pharoah Sanders and Chance the Rapper.
The second-unit director on Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s “Apeshit,” Nikru also directed videos for Kamasi Washington’s “Hub-Tones” and Neneh Cherry’s “Kong.”
The son of Nigerian political scientist Claude Ake, Ibra Ake is the creative director for Childish Gambino and won a Grammy for producing the video for “This Is America.” He also works as a staff writer on Donald Glover’s Atlanta and shares story credit on Guava Island. Most recently, he directed the socially distanced video for Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage’s “Dangerous Love.” His 2017 short “Know the Ledge” features a young Black couple spending a day on the streets of Los Angeles, scored with songs by Josephine Baker and Louis Armstrong.
Mentored by the documentary giant Les Blank, the New York-based Rimmasch first attracted the Carters’ notice through his work with Ralph Lauren, after which he ended up directing the Breathless-inspired “Bang Bang” video for their “On the Run” tour. True to his documentary background, Rimmasch said he “tried not to think of them as a power couple—just as humans, with skin and eyes. With inner complexity and compromises.”
But while Rimmasch’s work often has a grounding in vérité aesthetics, the “Sorry” and “Six Inch” segments of the Lemonade visual album (according to his website, he directed both) show it can also be lush and impressionistic, not to mention sensual. Here’s his attention-grabbing Super Bowl ad for Beyoncé’s Formation tour.
The British-born Nava has been working with Beyoncé since 2003, when he directed the video for “Crazy in Love,” and their long collaboration also includes the iconic video for “Single Ladies” and three songs from the Beyoncé’s self-titled video album. We know Nava directed last year’s video for “Spirit” and “Bigger,” taken from Beyoncé’s The Lion King: The Gift companion album, so it’s safe to say that’s at least part of his contribution here.
The Belgian Debusschere has worked with Beyoncé before, as the director of “Mine” and “Ghost,” and has also photographed her for magazine covers. He has a long history in fashion editorial. In 2012, he created a multimedia exhibition called “I Know Simply That the Sky Will Last Longer Than I,” whose soundtrack featured contributions from Kanye West.
The Ghanaian-born Fordjour is the creative director at Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, having entered the company as an intern for her musical director and served as creative director for her historic 2018 Vogue cover shoot. He also has choreography credits on her 2013 videos “Drunk in Love,” “XO,” and “Grown Woman.” He’s never been credited as a director on one of her music videos before, but several of Black Is King’s other directors singled Fordjour out as the person who brought them on board.
Burna Boy To Perform At The Premiere of “Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times” Film By The UN
An intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations; The United Nations is set to premier a 30-minute film entitled “Nations United: Urgent Solutions for Urgent Times” promoting actions to tackle the world’s biggest issues from the COVID-19 pandemic to poverty and inequality.
According to the UN, the film, which is set for broadcast globally, and will premiere on the UN YouTube channel on Sept. 19 at 09:00 EDT (13:00 GMT), sets out the actions needed to build a better world as the coronavirus pandemic threatens global progress to end extreme poverty, achieve gender equality, promote human rights, tackle injustice and address climate change.
Created by the United Nations on its 75th Anniversary and to mark five years since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, and produced by 72 Films and writer and director Richard Curtis, the film will take audiences on a dynamic exploration of these hard times, the multiple tipping points the planet earth faces, and the interventions that could transform the world over the next 10 years.
It features a performance from Grammy-nominated singer Burna Boy, and a new version of a previous U.N. performance by Beyoncé as well as appearances by education campaigner and U.N. Messenger of Peace Malala Yousafzai, U.N. goodwill ambassadors Cheadle and actress Michelle Yeoh, and UNESCO special peace envoy Forest Whitaker.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed also appear in the film. And the U.N. said Oscar-winning actress Julia Roberts will host a radio broadcast and podcast version of the show.
Actor Kanayo O. Kanayo Officialy Receives A “Call To The Bar”
Veteran Nollywood actor, Anayo Modestus Onyekwere Kanayo O. Kanayo, has qualified to be allowed to argue in the court of law on behalf of another party. Kanayo enrolled with the University of Abuja and in 2019 graduated with a Law degree before proceeding to the Nigerian Law School’s Abuja campus. In 2020, he officially received a “call to the bar.”
The Member of the Federal Republic, Barister Kanayo will be considered a jurist, and will represents a litigant as advocate before a court of appropriate jurisdiction. The 58-year old tasks will include taking cases in superior courts and tribunals, drafting legal pleadings, researching the philosophy, hypothesis and history of law, and giving expert legal opinions.
In 1992, Kanayo made his debut movie appearance in the film Living in Bondage. Kanayo has starred in over 100 films. He was nominated in 2008 for African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in the movie “Across the Niger”. His most recent movies are Up North and Living in Bondage: Breaking Free
In 2006 he won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in the movie “Family Battle”. He is currently a United Nations ambassador and bears the title of MFR. Kanayo was among various Nigerians honored by the government in 2014 during the centenary celebration.
See photos below;
Davido Casts Alongside Rick Ross, Eddy Murphy, Wesley Snipes In A Cameo Role In The “Coming 2 America” Movie
In October 2019, Davido had been cast in a cameo role in the Coming 2 America movie – an upcoming American comedy film which is the second installment in the Coming to America film series, and serves as a sequel to the original film of 1988. The film is scheduled to be released in theaters on December 18, 2020 by Paramount Pictures in the United States and Canada.
On August 17, 2019, filming officially began in Atlanta, Georgia. Rick Ross confirmed during the same month that his Georgia mega mansion will be used as a location in the film. On October 1, 2019, in an interview with Collider, Murphy confirmed that production on Beverly Hills Cop IV will commence after the filming of Coming 2 America has wrapped. Filming officially wrapped on November 9, 2019.
Set after the events of the first film, former Prince Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy) is set to become King of Zamunda when he discovers he has a son he never knew about in America – a street savvy Queens native named Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler). Honoring his royal father’s (James Earl Jones) dying wish to groom this son as the crown prince, Akeem and Semmi (Arsenio Hall) set off to America once again.
The film stars Murphy, Arsenio Hall, Michael Blankson, Jermaine Fowler, Leslie Jones, Shari Headley, John Amos, Tracy Morgan, Wesley Snipes, and James Earl Jones, Rick Ross etc.
Actor Yvonne Okoro Lands Ambassadorial Deal With Kaiser Kitchen & Appliances
Award winning actor Yvonne Okoro has been unveiled as the new brand ambassador for Kaiser German Kitchens & Appliances.
Details of the deal is not made public yet but latest photos in circulation captured the “Contract” actor and producer endorsing Kaiser, a High-Quality German Kitchen Appliance and Kitchen Cabinet brand that provides all solutions, whether it be individual kitchens, wholesale distribution, or bulk orders.
The company is a family owned business which started in central Berlin, Germany in 1995 producing and specialising in the highest quality and revolutionary designs of kitchens and appliances. Since then Kaiser has won several prestigious awards in Germany such as the ‘Brand award winner’ for best innovation designs for the years of 2017-2018.
Kaiser was incorporated in Ghana in 2014 and has since grown into a market leader in distribution of high end appliances, Kitchen cabinets, Wardrobes and Walk-In Closets. In February 2016, Kaiser was launched in Ivory Coast and has since been expanding there successfully.
It’s major activities in Ghana including signing Yvonne Okoro, the four times Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCAs) winner. She still remains one of the most celebrated actresses of her generation.
See photos below;
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